Canadian billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead in their mansion Friday, and police said they were investigating their deaths as suspicious.
Sherman, the founder of Apotex, and his wife Honey were found dead at their luxury mansion in an upscale neighborhood north of Toronto just before noon on Friday. Const. David Hopkinson, who would not identify the bodies, said police were called to Sherman’s residence in response to a “medical complaint.”
Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins identified Barry and Honey Sherman as the two discovered dead.
Hopkinson said the investigation was in its early stages and authorities “are inside investigating and taking apart the scene.”
“The circumstances of their death appear suspicious and we are treating it that way,” Hopkinson said at a news conference held outside the couple’s home.
The constable declined to say whether the bodies showed signs of trauma and did not provide details on the time or cause of death. However, he said the deaths were currently not being treated as homicides but added that more investigation would be necessary.
Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins sent a tweet expressing shock at the death of his “dear friends,” who he described as “wonderful human beings.”
“I am beyond words right now,” Hoskins wrote in his tweet. “Incredible philanthropists, great leaders in health care. A very, very sad day.”
Barry Sherman was the chairman of generic drug maker Apotex, which he founded in 1974 with two employees. It went on to become the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company.
Along the way, he amassed a vast fortune, which Canadian Business magazine estimated at $4.77 billion Canadian (US$3.65 billion) to make him the 15th richest Canadian, as well as lawsuits from family members who alleged they got cut out of a share of the company.
Sherman was also an active philanthropist, including donating $50 million Canadian (U.S. $39 million) to the United Jewish Appeal. He had also become an active fundraiser for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party in recent years, but was criticized for holding a pay-for-access fundraiser in Aug. 2015 that included Trudeau while being registered as a lobbyist.
Trudeau tweeted his condolences following the news of the couple’s death.
“Sophie and I are saddened by the news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman. Our condolences to their family & friends, and to everyone touched by their visio
Apotex called news of the deaths “tragic.”
“All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” the company said in a statement.
The house where the couple was found dead was recently listed for sale for $6.9 million Canadian (US $5.4 million). The couple had four children. Barry Sherman was 75 years old at the time of his death.
n and spirit,” Trudeau tweeted.